People have this tendency to romanticize the ones they love; maybe that’s what happened with Dexter, the show that made America fall in love with a serial killer. Fans incessantly try to convince the skeptics that there is some noble cause to Dexter Morgan’s slaughter sprees. Now, just one weekend away from the season finale, our protagonist has been exposed as just another murderer with his own personal goals.
Both Dexter and his fans have always believed that he has some sort of moral code. "He only kills bad people" is their excuse. However, Dexter has now killed a man that he knew wasn’t a murderer and the reason was, as always, to get some action.
To stop his girlfriend's admittedly rotten father from exposing her as a killer, Dexter valiantly decides to murder him to save her some jail time. Earlier, our 'honorable knight' also helped the same woman cover up the murder of a reporter who was about to reveal her secret. Her secret, if you haven’t already figured it out, is that she is an unapologetic killer and a formerly an accomplice to another unapologetic killer, who she loved and assisted with all her heart.
Yes, the halfway home counselor she killed was indeed guilty of sexual assault but the rest of the people she buried with her husband probably were not.
What this story arc has proven is that Dexter has no code. What he does have, however, is a justification to kill. Dexter wants to commit murder and his father, having foreseen this, developed some ground rules for him. "Son, if you want to kill a person, as I know you do, make sure you think he deserves death."
And if Dexter’s fans call this a code, it's a poor choice of words. Dexter does not kill evil people; he kills the people he wants to kill. If they turn out to be evil, fans cheer. If the victims don't fit the usual criteria and have perhaps been murdered for some personal cause, fans like to bring up how Dexter’s mother was killed when he was a child and he is thus suffering from trauma.
Indeed, murder is a tragic thing to experience but if Dexter’s victims made this excuse, neither he nor his fans would have too much empathy.
Perhaps the people supporting Dexter consider themselves worthy of deciding who lives or dies. Therefore, they decide to support a killer who claims to clean up the world, "waste disposal" style. Not only does that require severe moral pretension but also their valiant knight doesn't even follow that code. Instead, our protagonist is someone who conveniently chooses to kill the people that may interrupt his plans to impress a lady.
And yes, it's true that most men would kill to impress Yvonne Strahovski, but that’s more of a "bro code" rule.
The spectacularly talented writers of the show have put in another twist with Dexter actually turning his girlfriend in. Once again, this is less a moral act and more a matter of protecting his adoptive sister, who he fears may be on the hit list. As a result, the season finale is poised spectacularly well and, with another officer edging closer to finding out Dexter’s identity, the noose really is tightening around our protagonist's neck.
The season finale will air this Sunday night on Showtime.